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03/25/2013 08:48 am ET Updated May 25, 2013

Day 25: 31 Days of Daily Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Daily Inspiration: Day 25 of 31 Days

"Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. Not the first time, not the second and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting. Finally you'll hit." -- Annie Oakley (entertainer, 1860-1926)

Last night I was watching figure skating, gaping open-mouthed at the television as incredible specimens of woman and manhood spun and twirled and hurled themselves into the air. Occasionally they fell onto the ice and I gasped, amazed, as I always am, at how they instantly return to their routine, swallowing physical pain and emotional anguish, to finish with aplomb.

I've always loved figure staking, perhaps because it's such a beautiful metaphor for life. The skaters, like all sports people, have to aim at their marks thousands of times, overcoming fear of failure or injury. They have to commit absolutely and, if something goes wrong, they can't take a moment to cry or scream or pout, they have to throw themselves -- with perfect precision and absolute focus -- into the next spin or twirl.

They remind me of what's possible in terms of triumphing over the urge to have a temper tantrum, or wallow in self-pity, and instead keep living your life with full brilliance and passion. Personally, pouting when things go wrong is my natural inclination, so I need all the reminding I can get. Because one can either pout or twirl but one cannot do both.

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Inspiration From Brilliant Women

For more by Menna van Praag, click here.

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